Autumn 2020: New Music and Materials

(S3) SAPLINGS: 21 INTERMEDIATE PIANO SOLOS published by Red Leaf Pianoworks  While presenting at and attending the Canadian Music Teachers Conference last summer in Winnipeg, I was introduced to a new collection hot off the press called Saplings. This collection is written with the intermediate pianist in mind and features eleven Canadian...
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Autumn 2020: Recordings

Frederic Chopin's music is among the most performed and oft-recorded of its genre. This presents an interesting challenge for modern pianists: how might one approach the music of a composer whose performance traditions are so well-established? Here, Viv McLean invites us to explore the complex and sometimes competing facets of Chopin's musical...
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Summer 2020: New Music & Materials

Emilie Lin has arranged five traditional melodies in her publication Hearts of Asia: Chinese Folk Songs, published by FJH. The first four pieces have lovely, cantabile melodies which are divided between the hands. They also have simple, beautifully written duet parts which could be played by a teacher, parent, or student at the early-intermediate l...
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Spring 2020: Recordings

Tan, a longtime friend and collaborator of George Crumb, introduces Book 1 of Crumb's first large-scale work since his monumental Makrokosmos, composed forty years ago. Based on paintings by a variety of twentieth-century artists, these ten works translate visual art into sound with Crumb's signature extended effects and musical quotations. "Wheatf...
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Spring 2020: New Music & Materials

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Dennis Alexander's Concertino for the Young is an attractive and engaging solo with piano accompaniment that closely mimics classical concerto style. This work, accessible for a later-elementary piano student, is written in typical concerto form with fast first and third movements and a slow second movement. Traditional concerto elements also inclu...
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Winter 2020: New Music & Materials Reviews

(S4) TOCCATA "HYGAGAN," OPUS 229by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee From the FJH Contemporary Keyboard Sheets, Toccata "Hygagan" by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee is an engaging and virtuosic late-intermediate piano solo.Born in Massachusetts, Rahbee is a first-generation Armenian American. She was a piano major at Juilliard, and a self-taught composer who ...
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Winter 2020: Recordings

ROMANCE:THE PIANO MUSIC OF CLARA SCHUMANNIsata Kanneh-Mason, pianoDecca[Total Time 76:00]www.deccaclassics.com Contributing to this year's bicentennial celebration of Clara Schumann's birth is the debut album of the twenty-three-year-old British pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason. In 2015, while a student at the Royal Academy of Music, Kanneh-Mason, a...
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Autumn 2019: New Music & Materials

(S4-5) PIANO PIECES by Otilie Suková Very little is known about the composer Otilie Suková (1878–1905), yet a great deal is known about her famous father, Antonín Dvorák. Nonetheless, Bärenreiter Urtext has presented pianists with a gem: a collection of four short piano pieces by this relatively unknown composer. The p...
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Autumn 2019: Recordings

FARRENC: VARIATIONS FOR PIANOBiliana Tzinlikova, pianoPaladino Music PMR 0088[Total Time: 53:02]www.paladino.at This is a significant new recording of Louise Farrenc's piano works. The program consists of four sets of variations, all written in the 1830s, including Air russe varié (on the composer's own theme), one on the cavatina "Nel veder l...
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Summer 2019: New Music and Materials

(S2) Bastien New Traditions All In One Piano Course, 2B, 3A, 3B, by Lisa, Lori, and Jane Bastien. In a grand family tradition, these materials continue the recently published Bastien New Traditions All In One Piano Course by Lisa, Lori, and Jane Bastien. As with the first five levels in the new series (Primer A through 2A), Lessons, Theory, Techniq...
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Summer 2019: Recordings

D'Albert was a prized student of Liszt and his piano transcriptions of Bach's organ works bear the influence of his master. Unlike some transcribers, who sought to glorify Bach by embellishing his works in grandeur, both Liszt and d'Albert stayed largely reverent to the original works. One exception here is d'Albert's version of the Passacaglia and...
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Spring 2019: Recordings

The two leading piano manufacturers in Paris during Chopin's lifetime were Érard and Pleyel. Chopin preferred Pleyel's instruments, praising what he heard as a more compelling cantabile, and subtler tonal palette. The 1847 Pleyel here possesses remarkable clarity, due in part to its quick decay time. Rutkowski's prowess with convincing agogic expr...
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